Tuesday, February 19, 2013

T. E. T.

Today at Clear Spring School teachers and staff met to go over Dr. Thomas Gordon's book, Teacher Effectiveness Training, as a continuation of our chapter-by-chapter professional development. Each of us had agreed to take on the instruction of the "class" in one chapter and to lead discussion. Mine was chapter X (number 10) which has to do with values collisions, where students and teachers have different values, making resolution of behavior issues much more challenging. This was my 3rd time to read T.E.T. and my wife and I had gone through Parent Effectiveness Training at Clear Spring School when my daughter was in pre-school. My first time to study T.E.T. was when working with emotionally disturbed children in Memphis in 1972.

Through much of today's training, and particularly with regards to values, I was reminded of what is currently going on in public education. The government rewards or punishes schools that don't meet the chosen standards. Teachers are stripped of autonomy and forced to adhere to teaching methodologies and curricula that force feeds some students and under nourishes others, all in the name of "good" education. Teacher Effectiveness Training, on the other hand, is based on sound psychological and therapeutic principles to lift schools out of the win/lose dynamic that shatters the lives and effectiveness of teachers, and damages students to the point that some don't even like learning.

I am not saying anything here in criticism of teachers. They do the best they can with what they are given. It's schools and the rigid structure of education and the short-sightedness of those who think that educational objectives can be met through power and disparagement that concern me. Those who think that hands-on learning is not for everyone and not an important value in education are dead wrong.

In other words,

Make, fix and create...

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